HIV in Malawi affects the population a great deal. In 2011 it was estimated 910,000 people of the 1.5 million people living in Malawi were living with HIV (“HIV & AIDS in Malawi”). AIDS is the leading cause of death in adults and a factor in the countries low life expectancy. The first AIDS case was reported in 1985, but little was done to really fight the problem. In 1989 a five year plan was announced, but it wasn’t until 2000 and 2004 that programs fighting HIV and AIDS really started to intensify in Malawi. International donors provide a great deal of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment funding. These programs include, The World Bank, The Global Fund, The World Health Organizations , UNAIDS, and The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief. “Heterosexual sex accounts for the majority of HIV infections in Malawi” and “HIV prevention efforts are largely focused on preventing sexual transmission of HIV, due to the majority of HIV infections that occur though this route” (“HIV & AIDS in Malawi”). Structural issues, such as stigma, discrimination, lack of resources, etc. impede prevention from occurring on a greater scale.
The article I chose focused on the HIV-related stigmatization and how that decreases the likelihood of treatment and support. The study conducted “examined experiences of interpersonal discrimination, internalized stigma, and discrimination at health care facilities among HIV-positive adults” (Neuman). This article found that women were more likely to experience discrimination than men. The study was conducted in four different countries and in Malawi it was found that among married women, infection because of a husband’s infidelity was seen to be common. There was no discrimination found in internalized stigma or discrimination in health care facilities. What was interesting near the end of the article is that there was mixed associations between care and support and the forms of discrimination. Those experiencing internalized stigma were less likely to join a support group, while those experiencing interpersonal discrimination seemed to use utilize support groups.
“HIV & AIDS in Malawi,” AVERT, accessed 8 August, 2014. http://www.avert.org/hiv-aids-malawi.htm
Neuman, Melissa, Obermeyer, Carla Makhlouf, “Experiences of stigma, discrimination, care and support among people living with HIV: A four country study,” Accessed 8 August 2014, doi: 10.1007/s10461-013-0432-1.